First power from the first Round 2 offshore wind farm ? DONG Energy?s Gunfleet Sands project

DONG Energy’s offshore wind farm Gunfleet Sands in the Thames Estuary off the East coast of England supplied the first CO2-free power to the national grid.

Electricity has been generated from the first two of the 48 turbines that Gunfleet Sands offshore wind farm will consist of when full constructed. It is the first electricity to be generated under the entire Round 2 of constructing offshore wind farms in the UK as laid out by The Crown Estate in 2003.

“The first power from Gunfleet Sands is a tangible result of our efforts to increase our production of renewable energy, which is why we are delighted to have realized the Gunfleet Sands project and to have come this far,” says Niels Bergh-Hansen, Executive Vice President of DONG Energy.

Following a successful construction program that began back in October 2008, 16 wind turbines have now been erected with another 32 left to be installed.

The Gunfleet Sands project will have a capacity of 172 MW distributed on 48 Siemens wind turbines at 3.6 MW each. It will generate enough clean renewable energy for approximately 120,000 households or approximately 20% of the households in Essex. The project will make a considerable contribution to the domestic UK target of reducing CO2 emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2010. The wind farm will reach full production during 2010.


The Gunfleet Sands project

The Gunfleet Sands project is located approximately 7km south-east of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex. The project consists of two phases, Gunfleet Sands 1 with 30 turbines and Gunfleet Sands 2 with 18 turbines. The capacity of each turbine is 3.6MW, giving a total capacity of the Gunfleet Sands project of 172MW. The rotor diameter of the turbines is 107m, with a maximum height of 129m from blade tip to sea level.

The total area of the phase 1 development is 10km2 and 7.5km2 for phase 2. The turbines will be positioned with a spacing of 435m x 890m. The turbines will be mounted on top of a monopile foundation. The monopiles will be in the region of 5m diameter, with an overall length of up to 50m and a seabed penetration of up to 40m. The use of rock for scour protection is being considered.

All consents and licenses to build both phases of the project have been achieved.

When the project is completed, approximately 120,000 homes or approximately 90% of the households in Tendring district and Colchester City could be provided with clean electricity in the years to come. The project makes a considerable contribution to the domestic UK target of reducing CO2 emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2010.